starlady: Uryuu & Ichigo reenact Scott Pilgrim (that doesn't even rhyme)
[personal profile] starlady
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)
I fucking loved this movie. I've seen it twice in eight days, is how much I love this movie. (For those keeping score, the only movies I've seen twice in theaters this year are MI:RN and MM:FR.) I've always had a weakness for the Mission Impossible films, but they've gotten a lot better since they were revived with Ghost Protocol, and right from the very beginning, this movie is fun. It's telling a serious story, but there's plenty of banter and humor, much of it done in a dry way that is perceptible but not showy--the Japanese audiences I've seen it with have laughed at most of the right points, which is actually a really impressive achievement in my Japanese movie-going experience. The script moves along briskly, but there are plenty of character moments, mostly through the cast's excellent use of facial expressions. They are all great.

I read [personal profile] longwhitecoats' excellent review of the movie before I saw it, and I don't really have anything to add to the conclusion that FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC. I was struck both times I saw it, though, of how consciously the movie is playing against the recent Craig Bond movies, most obviously Skyfall but also more than a little against Quantum of Solace as well--the sequence at the performance of Tosca in QoS is matched and opposed by the sequence at Turandot in this movie, and the visual trope at the end of MIRN is an echo of and a rejoinder to the deployment of that trope, at a different place in the narrative, in Skyfall. I also couldn't help but read the running bit about Faust's shoes as a response to Jurassic World, just as longwhitecoats read the thing with the motorcycles (no spoilers) as a response to MMFR. Those last two are speculative due to movie timing, but I'm quite sure that the Bond parallels, and the callouts to the first MI movie, which Alec Baldwin references explicitly in his first scene, were deliberate and conscious. (Speaking of music, I'd have to rewatch MIGP to confirm this, but the score in this movie also seemed a bit brassier than normal, a la the Bond movies.) The action is also shot in a much more comprehensible way that the micro-cutting of Quantum of Solace and the later Bourne movies, which was nice, and there are some really nice car and motorcycle chase shots. And it's so fun. It's GREAT.

The Losers (2010)
I was sitting in my room in Kyoto and realized I didn't have my copy of Ghost Protocol with me, but I did have this movie, so I watched it and I was thoroughly charmed. This is also a fun action movie, and as somebody else on the internet said, it was actually a better A-Team remake than the A-Team remake, and it's a shame that it didn't reach a wider audience. The characters in here are also great, and the action is also done in a very believable way--hits have real consequences, as do things like being shot in both legs--and it's just really fun all around.The casting is also remarkably inclusive (far more so than MIRN, it must be said), and [personal profile] recessional's old post on the movie lays out what makes it work so well. In the end both movies are about trust and teamwork, and that is something that I really enjoy.
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